Marbut on Montana Self-Defense Laws and the Rittenhouse Trial
Kyle Rittenhouse – why the jury got it right. Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association gave a very insightful update to his Montana members shortly after the not guilty verdict was announced in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
He joined us on the radio to talk more about self-defense laws and the criteria that must be met for it to be considered a true case of self-defense.
Gary Marbut: Those three criteria are that the abuser has the opportunity, the ability and the intention. Opportunity means the aggressor is close at hand and capable of actually inflicting damage. It will be different depending on how the attacker might be equipped. If it is only equipped with fists and feet, it would be a contact distance. If he’s equipped with a handgun, it would probably be up to 40 or 50 yards. If it is equipped with a rifle it would be even further. So it depends on how the abuser is equipped, whether or not he is convinced that he has the possibility of doing harm. The next step in this three-legged stool is capacity. That is – does the abuser actually have the ability to do harm, and there are a number of ways that can be accommodated. It could be multiple attackers or a surprise / ambush. It could be that the aggressor is much bigger than the defender, say a 250 pound man and a 100 pound woman, that would satisfy the capacity. The attacker may be armed with a weapon or one of the many types of weapons that may include hands or feet. Again, the ability of this three legged stool is that the abuser has the real ability to do harm. The third step is intention, that is, the abuser actually intends to do harm.
Marbut says all three criteria were met in the Rittenhouse case, which is why the jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty.
We also talked more about gun rights and Montana’s self-defense laws. Here’s the full audio with Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association: